Allan Dobson and Gary Phillips were the big winners on day one of the Santo's Super 3 Extreme Drag Race at Willowbank Raceway last night.
Dobson claimed the Top Fuel A Final for team owner Santo Rapisarda over defending event champion, Steve Read, while Phillips downed first time finalist, Debbie O'Rourke in the Top Alcohol A Final with his Lucas Oil Products Monte Carlo Funny Car.
After an exciting side-by-side run earlier in qualifying, Dobson and Read faced off against each other in the A Final, the Rapisarda International Autosport car taking the win with a 4.677sec/312.42mph pass.
"It was a terrific night; the crew and [crew chief] Santino, [have] the tune up going well and their workmanship was fantastic – they are really A Class this meeting," Dobson said.
Dobson's victory puts him into the lead for the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy, with the trophy awarded to the Top Fuel racer who accumulates the most points over the two days of competition.
"Because it is such an emotional race meeting being Louie's memorial and for me wanting to try and win it for Santo I was very conscious of not over-doing it and mucking up, so I just let the love and the passion work for me," Dobson said.
In the Top Alcohol A Final, Phillips demonstrated why he is a 17-time national champion, winning with a solid 5.619/239.91 while O'Rourke spun the tyres early in the run.
For Phillips, the win was a solid recovery from his first qualifying pass that saw the Lucas Oil Products Chev hit the centre line.
"The first run I hit the centre line after picking the front wheels up, but before that it was so close to having a great run so we left the set-up for the second," Phillips said.
"[The second round] was a 'must win' and we went out there and ran our own race and [the car] responded just as it should.
"It was then on to the final and it all worked out well – it didn't hurt anything and I was able to keep that engine alive, which is what Lucas Oils pays me for!"
Steven Ham defeated veteran Steve Reed in the Top Alcohol B Final with a blistering 5.525/263.31 in the East Coast Lubes Funny Car.
The Santo's Super 3 Extreme Drag Race action, including a second ANDRA championship round for Top Fuel and Top Alcohol, continues today – Saturday, 19 April – with all brackets on track from 5.00pm.
Images supplied. © DragPhotos.com.au and Fred Dwyer